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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," April Edition 2008

The Kingdom Of God In The Book Of Acts

If you have never done this before I challenge you to underline or circle with a pen or pencil every mention of the expression “kingdom of God” that you find in the New Testament.

In the book of Acts we find this expression prominent, particularly in both the first and last chapters, which is all that we will have space to consider here. Please study the rest of those references on your own.

At the beginning, in Acts 1:3 we see Jesus speaking to His disciples of things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Then, as we turn to the last chapter we hear Paul, a prisoner in Rome, giving at least an eight hour-long continuous preaching lecture on that same subject (28:22-23). The book of Acts closes with these words: “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”

Now what do you suppose that Paul and Jesus were saying about the kingdom of God? Do you think that there were talking about the postponement of the kingdom to the Jewish nation at the end of the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, as modern Darbyite dispensational premillennialism teaches?
Or do you think that Jesus and Paul were taking about something that Christ was prophetically destined to “set up” on earth after His second coming?

Friends, get real! Where is the evidence in the book of Acts that either Jesus or Paul taught the idea of a “postponement” of the kingdom, or that Jesus was supposed to set His kingdom up after His return? No, friends, that baloney was reserved for the nineteenth century English Plymouth Brethren Darbyites to concoct many hundreds of years later.

Now nobody should be in the dark over the absolute truth about this matter. Here are a couple of things to prayerfully consider:

1. It is most likely that Jesus and Paul were both saying the same thing about the kingdom of God--it is not reasonable to believe that they were proclaiming discordant messages.

2. Paul plainly tells us what he was saying about the kingdom of God in his sermon at the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, as recorded in 13:16-41. His was the same kerygma, or basic gospel message, as that used by Peter on the Day of Pentecost, and it was all about--not postponement!--, but promise and FULFILLMENT!

Dispensationalists claim that the kingdom of heaven was veiled as a great mystery in the Old Testament, but that is pure foolishness! Paul evidently found the kingdom on the open face of the Old Testament so well that he could preach all day long about it (28:23)!

It is clear from the book of Acts that through the preaching of the kingdom of God as a present reality Christian churches were established. Now let’s go and do we likewise!

Related Article Links

God's Kingdom Has Come
Setting Up The Kingdom